- Titles: Kami-sama Hajimemashita, Kami-sama Kiss
- Genre: Romance, comedic, school, slice of life, supernatural, reverse harem
- Episodes season 1: 13
- Episodes season 2: 12
- Studio: TMS Entertainment
You know how some people have really rotten luck when it comes to parents. You can’t choose your family, am I right? Well, Nanami Momozono is one of those people. Actually, her mom was great, really great! But she fell ill when Nanami was still really young. And despite how great her mom was, she had the worst taste in men. Nanami’s dad is kind of a useless deadbeat. I guess it could be worse. At least he didn’t run off on his teenage daughter because of his gambling debts, leaving her alone and homeless! Oh, wait… That’s exactly what he did. It’s a darn good thing Nanami isn’t the type to get defeated easily, or at all. Still, when she suddenly and unexpectedly finds that she had become a land god, complete with a shrine and familiar, she might be in just a bit over her head. Especially when that familiar is as unfriendly as he is attractive!
Self-hype is what I call it when I decide I will love an anime without having seen it. And oh boy was Kamisama Kiss ever in that category. Spunky young heroine and a grumpy fox spirit and her side? Sounds good. Down to earth high school student suddenly has to figure out how to deal with divine duties? That could be amazing. A lighthearted comedy with strong Yokai themes and Shinto influences? OK, this is going to be the best show ever!
I quite liked the technical side of Kamisama Kiss. In fact, there’s nothing special about the show’s production really. It’s competent in all aspects but neither flashy nor striking. But on a completely personal level, I happen to like the character designs. They look very shoujo. Ironically, it’s the style I tend to find the least attractive usually but for some reason, nostalgia maybe, I thought they were great this time around. It could also be because the art style is what I would have imagined for this sort of story. I don’t know, it just seemed to fit.
Actually, wait, there was one element that did stick out a bit. Well at least as far as I’m concerned. That’s the voice acting. The voice acting was really solid throughout and the chemistry between the characters could be heard. I do believe this elevated the series considerably. I’m not sure how this translates in the dub but if you want to hear some so realistic sounding it’s almost cringey, high schoolers in love, try the sub! I’m saying it’s good.
Story & Characters
I find Kamisama Kiss deeply frustrating. Let me try to explain. I love the premise. Ordinary High School girl becomes a minor god. That’s almost perfect. I would watch this story over and over again. It’s a magnificent premise in my book. And Kamisama Kiss uses it pretty well.
I also really liked all the characters. It was hard to narrow it down to just one favourite, and I didn’t! I will say, there isn’t that much in way of character evolution but I don’t think that matters much here. It’s a plot-driven story where seeing Nanami adapt to her new situation, and how she affects those around her is really where the interest of the story lies. As such we get to know the characters a bit and even though they don’t change much throughout the two seasons, they remain likeable and entertaining.
As for the actual events of the show, lots of them are great. I loved seeing Nanami try to play her role by meeting another god for the first time or putting together a festival to bring more people to the temple. Of course, I loved the supernatural stuff like a time-travelling adventure to get a dragon’s eye to free Tomoe or going back to a Tengu village with Kurama to save everyone. All of those were just as fun as they sound.
In fact, I liked almost everything about Kamisama Kiss except the romance. The romance is like half the show. And unlike other shows I have seen recently, it’s not because Nanami and Tomoe make for an awful couple. I mean, they got some issues to work out, that’s for sure, but I don’t think they’re too bad together. And I like them both a lot individually as well. Moreover, it’s not like I hated the romance aspect. It’s not bad in fact, a little repetitive here and there but generally pleasant.
And yet for some reason, every romance scene bored me half to death. I can’t explain it. I’m having a great time sailing along and then suddenly a character starts to talk about their feelings and it’s a chore for me to finish the episode. I almost dropped it a number of times but then I get a comedy or action scene, or just a glimpse of what’s coming up next and I’m like, no that’s awesome…
Part of me thinks I would have really liked Kamisama Kiss if I hadn’t arbitrarily decided that this was going to be my show. Like in my top 10 for sure, probably even top 5 and the show I could point to say, I like these types of romances. I must have been a bit disappointed on some level that I was constantly thinking how much more I would like it if it wasn’t a romance. But you know, that’s entirely on me!
You might like this anime if:
You will probably like this show. Unless you hate romance anime but if what you read so far sounds interesting to you, go ahead and give it a watch. Kamisama Kiss is one of those anime that I can say is pretty good, but just not for me. Or like 50% for me.
My favourite character:
Mikage, Mizuki, Kurama, Otohiko and Kei!! Told you I didn’t narrow it down!
- Every time Nanami goes on an exposition dump – take a sip
- Every time a hot guy is being rude – try not to throw your drink in his face. It could damage your screen
- Every time Nanami loses her temper – gasp!
- Every time there’s fog – take a sip
- Every time the temple spirits welcome Nanami home – take a sip
- Every time Tomoe is exasperated – sign
- Every time anyone gest a forehead kiss – awwww
- Every time Tomoe uses his transformation – take a sip
- Every time it’s raining – get some water
- Every time Tomoe tries to stop Nanami from going to school – take a sip
- Every time we hear the haughty lady narrator – raise your glass. she should have been in favourite characters as well!
- Every time there’s foxfire – fan yourself
- Every time there’s an art fail – take a sip
- Every time we see Mikage – take a sip
- Every time Otohiko drops in – oh my!
- Every time Tomoe tries to feed Nanami mushrooms – get a snack
- Every time we see Himemiko – take a sip
I save all my screencaps on my Pinterest and you can find more there if you are interested. But I still like to show you a few in the post. If you’re like me, screencaps are something that really helps you decide to watch an anime or not.
15 thoughts on “Kamisama Kiss and the Dangers of Self-Hype”
I enjoyed it when I first saw it. The romance aspect disappointed me though. I felt like there was no payoff.
The romance was a bit odd. I understand the will they won’t they dynamic but there were times where it felt like they genuinely didn’t like each other as people much
Yes! I felt that. I didn’t buy that ship.
Man, this one brings a heavy dose of nostalgia for me, since Kamisama Kiss, or as it was originally named, Kamisama Hajimemashita, really introduced me to this type of more actionable romance anime. I concur, the romance is very straightforward and kinda boring, but I also think that the romance is only a fixture for the first few arcs of the series, after which the focus shifts to exploring different types of character arcs and the like, with the snake familiar having his own storyline, local gods having small arcs, and of course, Tomoe’s contention and history with Akura-ou.
This is one of the reasons why I think the name of Kamisama Kiss is a complete miss for this series, since it draws focus on romance and Nanami’s relationship with Tomoe, when the manga’s title, Kamisama Hajimemashita, translating to New Beginning As A God/ Debut As A Deity is much more appropriate, since the series is indeed less about romance and more about Nanami’s experiences as someone completely unaware of the supernatural world dumped right into the middle of it.
I got to opposite impression. The last few arcs after the Tengu village, seemed entirely dedicated to romance or maybe I was just over it.
I loved this which actually surprised me because I went in thinking the comedy aspect would be too much. Ultimately, I find this some really silly fun and I love the characters. I really love seeing Nanami and Tomoe together and how they slowly get slightly better at communicating as the series goes on.
Shame it didn’t click for you.
It wasn’t awful and I did like some aspects.
I liked the show enough to watch two seasons of it, but it’s not really my favourite of the kind. (For example, I preferred Kakuriyo.)
I felt pretty much the same way about both. I think Kamissama has a sturdier production.
Oof, I really loved this show too but you’re right, the romance aspect is very sterile. It’s hard to pinpoint the appeal of this especially when I’m talking with friends and recommending other romance shows.
It would be interesting to see how different shoujo animes would be without the romance 😂
I really would. I wonder if there’s a post in there
Tomoe…Tomoe….!!!! Love this anime!!!